Too Tired To Train? – How To Workout With No Sleep
Call me crazy but I like to train very early in the morning. I once lifted weights at 6am for months. Training in the morning is practical, it leaves you energized for work and there are little to no people disrupting your training business. But every time the alarm goes off, I feel like snoozing. So should you snooze or should you train? And how to train with little to no sleep?
Snoozing absolutely destroys my morning routine. I’ve snoozed atleast hundreds of times in my life and I never thought: Oh, I’m so glad I’ve snoozed. There are multiple reasons you’re tired in the morning.
Maybe you trained too much, maybe your diet isn’t giving your body the right amount of carbohydrates, maybe your life isn’t where it should be or maybe you’ve simply woken up in the middle of a sleeping phase. Snoozing will change little to none of that. You’ve to get up and do the work. It will not even prolong your sleeping duration. Why?
Have you ever woken up from a dream and wanted to go right back to it? Yes, how did it go? It didn’t work. If you’re snoozing your body will start the sleep phases all over again. Starting at the beginning. Your sleep is split in 1.5 hours cycles and REM phases usually only start at the end of these cycles.You have to think of your sleep as a combination of these cycles. Snoozing for 30 minutes won’t change anything big sadly.
You have to live with what you got I guess. There was a time where me and my friends would play video games the whole night. We still do it sometimes but don’t tell anybody. I remember after one all nighter my reaction time turned so freaking bad that literally a frog would beat me in a game of call of duty. This is kinda scary. But normal. Lack of sleep has been shown to minimize the coordination ability of your central nervous system. Your brain isn’t able to fully process complex movements, such as the squat or the deadlift. If you got multi-joint exercises in your workout plan and your training on little to no sleep, skip them for that day. You could easily do them wrong with little to no sleep and there’s a high chance of an injury. Instead focus on training with machines, the movement isn’t that complex and your ROM is limited.
After a night with little sleep you’re just calling for a cold. Your body hasn’t fully recharged it’s defense system and is slowly getting on that sick train. Few people realize that exercise puts more stress on your body. Yes, high intensity exercise can promote your immune system, but only in the long-term. On top of that gyms are usually full of people, crowds are a great place to spread infectious diseases. To make training with little to no sleep beneficial, go to the gym when it’s nearly empty and train with low intensity – not to failure. Do 15 repetitions for that time and end the work-set even if you could do 2 repetitions more. Another great way to improve the function of your immune system is as simple as going for a walk in nature if possible.
Meditating has also shown to improve the function of your immune system and I desperately struggle with making a habit of it. I once did it for 10 minutes each day for one week. There happened to be one day where I was extremely busy, and I let it slip. Just a one time thing I thought. Few months fast forward and I try to build the habit once again from scratch. Little things matter, especially when building a habit. If you allow your body to skip the workout one time, you minimize the threshold for skipping it again next time. Your body thinks: Oh, nothing happened when skipping it the last time. Might as well skip it again today. Realize this, when thinking about snoozing.
You wake up and you feel tired, what should you do? My suggestion is, stand up, don’t snooze, drink some water and just slowly start waking up. Give this process 10 minutes to be able to make a proper decision. After these 10 minutes you ask yourself: Am I capable to train? Do I feel sick? How much is the routine, that I’m in right now, worth to me? Can I truly go to sleep for another 1.5 hours to get a full sleep cycle? If you decide to go to the gym, increase your warm up and your cool down time, to better prepare your body for the physical stress. Focus on training with machines on a low intensity scale. If you don’t feel capable to go to the gym, head out for a cozy walk. This will still dampen your routine a little bit, but not as hard as sleeping in. If after these 10 minutes you came to the conclusion, that you truly need to sleep in and you’re being honest with yourself, so be it. Just make sure it isn’t a lazy excuse.